"That brake fluid has been making my celly hella cranky. Wouldn't be surprised if he went dancing on the blacktop." Say what? The secret language of prisoners isn't really common knowledge for those who haven't been thrown in the slammer. If you're a fish (someone newly incarcerated), you better learn quickly so as to avoid a major dispute.
Cryptolects and prison code words have evolved through ages. In the 1500s, secret prisoner languages were referred to as "thieves' cant" or "peddlers' French," but codes aren't just for prisoners: there's evidence everyone from Parisian sex workers to dope peddlers to hobos have crafted their own communication methods in part to hide the nature of their business.
What do prison slang words mean? Here's a handy guide in case you ever find yourself facing the long arm of the law.
Meaning: This slang phrase is even more grotesque than it sounds. In prison life, a diaper sniper is a child molester. According to Margot Bach, who spoke to ABC on behalf of the California Department of Corrections, taking out a diaper sniper "would gain [the killer] a lot more respect among the other inmates."
Use It In A Sentence: "That diaper sniper is going to be dancing on the blacktop."
Stainless Steel Ride
Meaning: If you're in one of the states that allow the death penalty, you may have heard about taking a stainless steel ride. According to The Atlantic, "a stainless steel ride" is a euphemism for lethal injection. The type of injections vary state to state based on availability. Usually prisoners will receive between one and three different injections.
Use It In A Sentence: "Honey took a stainless steel ride. RIP."
Meaning: If you were a teen girl in the early '00s, there's a pretty good chance you used some incarnation of this phrase on your AOL Instant Messenger away message, probably to the effect of "Away at the mall with Katie. Hit me on my celly!" It was the golden age of RAZR phones and cheeky nicknames. Today, the phrase means something a whole lot different for prison inmates. According to those in the know, "celly" - or "cellie" - is slang for cellmate.
Use It In A Sentence: "My celly is my best friend; take it up with me if you have issues with him."
Meaning: When you're brought into a prison, your entire body is searched. This means you can't hide anything in the pocket of your jeans. Luckily enough, bodies were made with a pocket of their own: an anus. A "permanent pocket" – sometimes called a "prison pocket" – is someone's butt.
Use It In A Sentence: "Tito stashed the dough in his permanent pocket."